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  •  I noted this today (14+ / 0-)

    (from my blog)

    A good move on the part of the Obama administration, coming on the heels of the failure of Harry Reid's public lands bill this week.

    Salazar to allow federal protection of wild land areas

    Salt Lake Tribune, 12/23

    Salazar issued an order allowing Bureau of Land Management officials to place public lands with wilderness characteristics in a new category that offers more protection. Some 6 million acres in Utah could be affected.

    The move earned a quick rebuke by conservative lawmakers, with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, calling it a "brazen" move to "kowtow to radical environmental groups."

    Salazar’s order essentially jettisons a deal struck by Leavitt with then-Interior Secretary Gale Norton referred to as the "no more wilderness" agreement that took away the ability of BLM officials to designate certain areas as protected.

    Anybody who doesn't agree with anything Bush did is radical, apparently. Doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room, eh?

    BLM to Overturn Bush's 'No More Wilderness' Policy

    NYT, 12/23

    The new policy will "give back to BLM the authority to conduct wilderness inventories, identify lands with wilderness character, set them up as wildlands for interim protection until Congress has to act," said a source familiar with the new policy. "And it'll allow BLM to do these assessments in Alaska, too."

    The new policy would be a crucial tool for BLM to protect the ecological and recreational values of lands in the face of proposed oil and gas development or off-highway vehicle use, proponents say. Wilderness management bars the use of machines, including bicycles and off-road vehicles, and is opposed by many people in the West who claim it stifles economic development.

    The Interior announcement is "going to address the deficiencies in BLM's policies with respect to unprotected, but wilderness-quality, lands," said Dave Alberswerth, the Wilderness Society's senior policy adviser on energy issues. "It's going to be a repudiation of Norton's policy" and a recognition of BLM's duty under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act to protect its remaining roadless areas.

    Wilderness rules restored for public lands

    12/23, AP/Forbes

    DENVER -- The Obama administration plans to reverse a Bush-era policy and make millions of undeveloped acres of land once again eligible for federal wilderness protection, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday.

    The agency will replace the 2003 policy adopted under former Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Salazar said. That policy - derided by some as the "No More Wilderness" policy - stated that new areas could not be recommended for wilderness protection by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and opened millions of acres in the Rocky Mountain region to potential commercial development.

    That policy "frankly never should have happened and was wrong in the first place," Salazar said Thursday.

    We should open the borders and stop lying to people. -Miep, a U.S.A Citizen

    by Miep on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 06:48:48 PM PST

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